Remembering Thanksgiving with Love
Thanksgiving is a special time of year for a lot of reasons. But one main reason is that it’s the launch of the holiday season. Just about everyone knows that when the turkey dinner is over, the shopping season begins.
Thanksgiving is embedded with tradition for a lot of people. It can be very tough for some and very joyous for others. Many are dealing with grief and loss, and the Thanksgiving holiday is a reminder of who is not there to celebrate the family traditions that have long been a part of a family. For others, it’s a joyous time of new and old traditions, possibly new family members, and love mixed with sharing. Either way, there are some things you can do to make the Thanksgiving holiday your own; remember the love of God and the warmth of sharing in the season.
People need the love of Christ more than ever during the Thanksgiving holidays. If you are one of those struggling to get through the holiday, let me share some ideas that may help your heart and family and another person or family this season.
Sometimes the thing that we need the most is the thing we need to give away to someone else. Don’t be timid to reach out to others this season. You never know who needs the love and fellowship during this time of year. Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity to do that because there is always someone hurting that needs a kind face or an act of love and kindness shown towards them.
Looking at some of the traditions of Thanksgiving brings back memories. People are usually in the kitchen cooking and laughing. Children are running around everywhere. The dad is the only one who cooks the turkey and slices it with his special knives. The mom and her sisters make the best yams, greens, and cranberry sauce on the planet. Then there’s the aunt that has the best dinner rolls and starts the holiday shopping with all the sales. But we can’t forget the grandmother with the best cornbread dressing and pies that everyone waited for all year.
But what if these traditions have changed? That special family member passed this year in death, a move across the country, expenses, or other circumstances changes how it looks? How can you remember the Thanksgiving holiday with love when you or some of your family members hurt so bad from a loss that you can barely cook a can of soup? How can you share your faith when you feel faithless this year due to loss or another situation? Here are a few ideas:
Start a new Thanksgiving tradition
There is nothing that says you and your family can’t start new Thanksgiving traditions. Start a tradition of giving to someone in memory or honor of another person. Maybe start a new Thanksgiving tradition that involves all the younger children that they can pass down as the years go by. Perhaps new is what you need this year if you are in this place of angst over the holiday.
Invite a neighbor, church family, or friend to Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving is a great time to share that meal with a neighbor, friend, or church member. Maybe instead of cooking for just your family, why not cook the entire meal for someone else that can’t. Get together with family and think about who you could share a Thanksgiving meal with. There may be a widow in the church experiencing the first holiday alone. Ask God what you can do and see how He invites you to show love this year.
Serve at a shelter or other venue that is serving the less fortunate
Take time this Thanksgiving holiday and serve others less fortunate. Ask around at the local shelters and see what you and your entire family could do this year for them. See what needs they have and be a blessing to them. Maybe your church is serving dinner to the community. Perhaps you can cook, serve, or greet people during this time. Maybe you could make food or dessert baskets. Serving is a great way to make the Thanksgiving holiday more meaningful.
Sharing the love of God this season is what’s important. People remember what you do for them more than what you say to them. So, say it with sharing this year, and let the love of Christ speak louder than anything.
Grace and peace,